Experts look to antibodies in survivors' blood for new Ebola treatments | Dog faces major bellyache, surgery after bingeing on socks | Marine Mammal Center's Hawaiian outpost cares for endangered seals
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September 5, 2014
Animal Health SmartBrief
News for animal health professionals

Veterinary Medicine Update
Experts look to antibodies in survivors' blood for new Ebola treatments
The World Health Organization called together 200 health experts from around the world for a two-day conference to address the Ebola crisis in West Africa. One of the potential treatments being discussed at the meeting is using blood from Ebola survivors to help treat those currently infected. The blood would have to be screened for infectious diseases such as HIV and malaria, but it's possible the Ebola antibodies present in survivors' blood could help people fight the infection. The Miami Herald (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (9/4)
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Dog faces major bellyache, surgery after bingeing on socks
Veterinarian Ashley Magee has gained recognition for a case involving a sock-eating Great Dane. After 43 socks plus half of another, the dog stopped eating and started showing signs of gastrointestinal distress. His owners brought him to DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital. Dr. Magee noted a mass of foreign material when she captured abdominal X-rays, so she performed surgery and ultimately removed the socks. The Oregonian (Portland) (9/4)
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Marine Mammal Center's Hawaiian outpost cares for endangered seals
This week, a grand opening ceremony marked the creation of the Marine Mammal Center's Hawaiian monk seal hospital in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The population of Hawaiian monk seals has dwindled to about 1,100, and each year, the number drops by 3% or 4%. The hospital is staffed by veterinarians and volunteers. Honolulu Star-Advertiser (free content)/The Associated Press (9/4)
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Cryptosporidium illnesses traced to raw goat's milk
An outbreak of cryptosporidium that sickened two people has been linked to raw goat's milk sold by Treasured Sunrise Acres in Parma, Idaho. Goat's milk samples from the farm tested positive for the pathogen, and milk sales from the facility have been halted. It's only the second case of cryptosporidium-infected raw milk in 16 years, according to CDC records, and the first recorded in goat's milk. The other case was linked to raw milk from cattle. Food Poisoning Bulletin (9/4)
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Other News
Animal News
Actions speak louder than words for dogs, too, study finds
A study from the University of Florida found that dogs prefer petting over vocal praise, even when the person doing the petting is not the owner. Also, the dogs never seemed inclined to end the petting., Science? blog (9/3)
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Update: Officers catch rogue cobra in L.A. area
The albino monocled cobra that got loose in a Los Angeles-area neighborhood this week has been caught by animal control personnel. It's not clear where the snake came from or whether its venom glands had been removed. On Monday, a greyhound was bitten on the neck by the snake, but the dog is under veterinary care and expected to recover. KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV (Los Angeles) (9/4)
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Around the Office
Step up and have the difficult conversations
Avoiding tough conversations is like ignoring the "check engine" light on your car, writes Mary Jo Asmus, who offers five steps for overcoming your reluctance. "Leaders have tough conversations. Don't ignore things that require your intervention," she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (9/3)
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AVMA in the News
Competition challenges veterinary students to innovate
Entries in the Veterinary Innovation Challenge, a competition for veterinary students launched at the University of Pennsylvania, have been narrowed to eight. Finalists include applications for veterinarians and pet owners, technology for a canine orthopedic treatment and a new way of transporting syringes for on-site care. Competition developer and Penn veterinary student Nikhil Joshi worked with his school and AVMA PLIT, an independent arm of the AVMA that connects veterinarians with insurance, to fund the competition. (9/3)
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Association News
AVMA Animal Hospital Video Game
Aspiring veterinarians and animal lovers of all ages have tested their skills diagnosing and treating animals through a new game developed by the American Veterinary Medical Association. AVMA Animal Hospital is available for free through Apple's AppStore, Google Play and AVMA's website. The game takes place at a virtual veterinary clinic, where clients bring their pets in for treatment. Players must race the clock as they learn about each animal's condition, diagnose its ailments and provide treatment. Learn more about AVMA Animal Hospital.
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Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy."
-- Norman Vincent Peale,
American minister and writer
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